Jennifer, 38, firmly believes that if she wasn’t at Hope Ministries this Christmas, she’d either be in jail . . . or dead. “At the rate I was drinking, it could’ve killed me,” she says. “My whole life was chaotic.”
Jennifer took her first drink at the age of 16. “It was a way to numb everything,” she remembers. “My dad abused me daily—physically. I didn’t want to feel. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to deal with it.”
Eventually her father “left for work one day and didn’t come back.” But the pain he’d inflicted stayed with her into adulthood. She went through stints of “couch-surfing”—living with whatever friend or relative would take her in—and struggled to make ends meet.
“Sometimes I’d run out of food,” she remembers. “I’d have to go to my neighbors and see if they could help me out. It was very, very hard.”
But the worst part was the impact on her daughter Johanna, 14, who has spent time in and out of foster care. “I wanted stability for both of us,” says Jennifer. “I needed a new lease on life and I wanted to learn the right way to live so I could provide for my daughter.”
Which is why Jennifer came to our Hope Center for Women and Children last January.
“I was scared. It was a new place. But the longer I stayed here, the more comfortable I got. I realized that these people actually care about us.”
Through life skills classes, job readiness training and counseling, Jennifer is learning the skills she needs to rebuild her life and provide for her daughter. She recently celebrated one year of sobriety and she’s looking forward to spending Christmas at Hope Center with Johanna.
She and Johanna are growing closer, too, although Jennifer admits there are still hard days. But what gets her through those days is leaning on God’s love and grace.
“The best thing about being at Hope Center is the God-centered teaching. And the grace. Before I came to Hope Ministries, I was lost. But now . . . I am definitely found.”
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Jennifer’s hope has been restored and your prayers and financial gifts to Hope Ministries helped make it possible. Your ongoing support will continue to bless her and so many others!